You Are What You Want to Be

“What I have is a malevolent curiosity. That’s what drives my need to write and what probably leads me to look at things a little askew. I do tend to take a different perspective from most people.”

David Bowie

What makes you you?

Is it your likes and dislikes? Is it your culture or your heritage? Is it where you go to school or what you do for a living? What about your taste in podcasts or your ironic mug collection? Is it your fashion style (or lack thereof)? 

There’s a lot that goes into making a person. Sure, you’ve got your blood, muscles, and bones, but there’s a lot that we naturally absorb as we live our lives. We absorb what’s around us and either accept, ignore, or reject everything in millions of ways. 

Music plays a large part in our foundational makeup. We identify who we are by the music we are interested in. Lack of music defines us too. Every so often I’ll run into someone who doesn’t like music, or at the very least doesn’t listen to it. To me, this is baffling (This emoji sums my reaction up nicely: 😧) — how can someone not like music?! But it’s true, and that’s a piece of what makes them who they are. 

I wouldn’t say that I grew up in a musical household per-sé. My first concert was likely a Christian pop or rock band like the Newsboys or Audio Adrenaline… I definitely got my taste in the 60s, 70s music from my parents. Creedence, Thin Lizzy, The Bee Gees, and AC/DC — from my dad. Prince, Tears for Fears, The Beatles, Michael… — from my mom.

Friends and other people I looked up are a huge influence on my taste in music. One key influence was from my friend Jake Lemons. (Hey Jake 👋) Being a killer guitarist, he’s the one who lit the spark for my interest in learning to play music (him and my grandfather). He’s also the one that helped me find Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Ozzy — the kind of people who take music to a whole new level. (Def Leppard: Pour Some Sugar On Me — Jimi Hendrix: “…Hold my beer”)

It’s funny how a single person, a small moment, or a passing conversation can have a massive impact on your trajectory in life.

A spark is the best analogy I can think of at the moment. Influences are like little threads that lead us down a path towards who we are. One second we are seeing in low-resolution standard definition, and the next second we are seeing in 1080p. We’re not quite at 8k HDR yet, but if we keep searching we’ll get there before we know it. 

And at the heart of it all— music tastes, personality, dreams, etc— is discovery. I discovered who I was by taking an interest in things. 

Or put another way —

You are what you want to be.

Curiosity makes us who we are. *Deciding* to do, like, or be a certain person makes us who we are. Allowing ourselves to be influenced by the people around us makes us who we are. Most of the time this isn’t a conscious decision we make. Rather, something we just do and notice (or not) afterward. Oh, wow. It looks like I just ate the weight of a triceratops in ice cream — again.

Invisible scripts run a lot of our lives. But not if we decide to do something about it. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, or how your life looks, you can change it. Depending on what it is, it might not be easy — but it’s possible. You have the power to own your life. And it starts with seeking it out.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #935

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Best You 365: Gratitude is Attitude

Preface

This is a sample of our BestYou 365 Newsletters.

If you are seeking the best version of yourself you can be in creativity, work, and life, join our newsletter today (and/or share with a friend who would be interested).

Best You 365

Introduction

BY365 is about asking yourself the questions:

“How can I become my best self?”
“What does that mean to me personally?”
“How can I become a better person every single day?”
“And how can I help and enable people to do the same through my own actions and journey?”

 

today: Gratitude is Attitude

       
    When you find yourself seeking something more for yourself, it’s easy to get lost in the future and miss the good you already have given and receive every day. (believe me, I know) 

    To begin your journey to the best version of yourself possible, you must start by being grateful who you are right now, and what you have going for you already.

No matter what setbacks you are facing, I can assure you someone else out there has it worse.

Even at its most extreme feels, when has hating yourself ever worked out for someone?

We must learn from the mistakes and pain. Use them as drivers to embetter yourself and inspire others.

Becoming your best self is not about rejecting your old self. To move on to something bigger, you must be okay with who you are.
I mean, doesn’t the idea of accepting who you are — mistakes and all — sound like you are already becoming someone better?

Look @ me for example, here I am surrounded by privilege, living in the land of the free, home of the brave, but am I giving thanks every day for what I have?

Do I use my freedom to pursue bravery or am I just living within my fears?
Questions we should take the time to ask ourselves.

Gratitude is Attitude.
It’s something you bring to the table.
It’s a perspective you must practice.
It’s a lens that changes even the bad things that happen to you, to the good.
 

Practice

Gratitude Tips — There are many resources out there for gratitude, but here are some of my favorites to get you started:

1. Each morning, write down three things you’re most grateful for. It can be anything you want.

2. Before you talk to anyone, say ‘I love you’ in your mind to them. (Learned this from TF’s book, Tools of Titans.) You won’t believe how effective and mood-lifting this can be, even towards someone you dislike!

3. Practice frugality (like Marcus Aurelius, or Benjamin Franklin) for one day each month. Spend the smallest amount possible on food (eating rice and beans, or something like that), wear cheap clothes, even sleep on the floor. Not only does this make you grateful for what you have, but also reduces the anxiety of losing it all. Showing you it’s not that bad to have nothing.

4. Send a thank you note to someone. Write a letter, reach out. call someone. There’s nothing like gratitude than giving someone presence. It tells them,
‘I see you.’

5. Give a random person a compliment. Think of the last time someone did this to you. Doesn’t it immediately boost your mood for the day?

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner